The State has lost its appeal against a High Court decision that a former soldier from Co Sligo should be awarded damages for a failure to diagnose and treat him for psychological injuries he sustained while in the Lebanon more than 30 years ago.

The Supreme Court ruled it was completely satisfied that the High Court's finding that the State had breached its duty of care to Victor Murtagh, of Ballymote in Sligo, by failing to diagnose and treat his post-traumatic stress disorder.

However, it reduced the amount of damages awarded to Mr Murtagh from just over €300,000 to just over €150,000.

Mr Murtagh was 21-years-old and beginning his first tour of duty in the Lebanon in October 1986 when he was traumatised by a number of dangerous and stressful incidents.

In the following months, two Irish soldiers were killed, including Corporal Dermot McLoughlin, who was also from Sligo and had befriended Mr Murtagh.

Mr Murtagh was described as a changed man when he came back to Ireland in April 1987.

He was eventually diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in 1996.

The court found there was a delay in the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD and that possibility was not investigated as quickly as it ought to have been.

Outside court, Mr Murtagh's solicitor Damien Tansey said his client was relived the case was over, as it has bene going on for ten years.


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